April 5, 2014 |
VANCOUVER, Canada - This had the feel of a nicely paced scrimmage between the Kings and the Canucks with not much on the line. Then came the third period and an intense hockey game suddenly erupted on Saturday night at Rogers Arena. Kings defenseman Matt Greene got hit with a puck and his skate was soon bloodied. He left the game, came back to play and watched his team lose it with 1:23 remaining as Brad Richardson, the former King, gave the Canucks a 2-1 win and helped Vancouver avoid official playoff elimination.
April 3, 2014 |
There were no loud celebrations in the Kings' locker room at Staples Center on Wednesday, no high-fiving or back-patting or any other hint players appreciated the significance of their 4-0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes. And that's as it should be for the Kings, who elevated their expectations by winning the Stanley Cup in 2012 and reaching the Western Conference finals last season with a bruised and battered team. Their seventh win in eight games and 15th in their last 19 assured them of the third spot in the Pacific Division and a first-round playoff matchup against the No. 2 team in the division -- likely the San Jose Sharks -- but it didn't set off any partying.
March 31, 2014 |
It was all going so well until the brother-in-law got involved. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick was picking up right where he left off the other day, looking sharp, poised and on his game, even if all of his teammates weren't quite along for the ride Monday at Staples Center. Then Minnesota forward Matt Moulson, who is Quick's brother-in-law and a former teammate, got opportunistic and sparked a third-period rally by the Wild as Minnesota beat the Kings, 3-2, scoring twice in a span of 1 minute 2 seconds.
March 30, 2014 |
Upon further review . . . Teammates were more than impressed with Kings goalie Jonathan Quick's incredible kick save on Blake Wheeler with just under a minute remaining in their 4-2 win over Winnipeg on Saturday night. Quick was on his stomach and kicked his right leg back to make the save on Wheeler, who was shooting from a sharp angle from the right corner. The view on the ice was one thing. But it looked even better when the Kings were finally able to watch the replays afterward.
March 29, 2014 |
Their hard-earned road mentality survived the flight home intact, making the trip back to Staples Center with the Kings. That hasn't always been the case this season. But the Kings chased one goalie (Ondrej Pavelec) and scored once on his replacement (Al Montoya) to defeat the Winnipeg Jets, 4-2, on Saturday night for their sixth straight victory. Leading scorer Anze Kopitar scored twice for the Kings, his 23rd and 24th goals of the season, his linemate Marian Gaborik added two assists, as did defenseman Willie Mitchell for his first multi-point game in nearly two years.
March 26, 2014 |
PITTSBURGH - When the Kings wrap up their three-game, four-day trip Thursday against Pittsburgh, they'll also finish the non-conference portion of their schedule. They might not want it to end because they've had such success against the East this season, at 20-8-3. Among West teams, only San Jose (21-7-4) and St. Louis (21-5-2) have more wins against the East. But playing exclusively within the West means less travel, and that's always welcome. After Thursday, the Kings will have eight games remaining, four against teams currently holding playoff spots and four against non-playoff teams.